Saturday 14 September 2019

An enthralling summer time

Summer is ending, fading in white scattered clouds and cool winds. I have had a special summer this year, full of events, adventure and sunshine. I travelled to Canada to visit the country of Margaret Atwood, the author I am studying for my PhD. I spent a month in Calgary, Alberta, visiting the city and its surprising surroundings, doing my research at the Central Library and meeting people, mainly the poets and writers of the area. Experiencing Canada, its wide horizons, unpredictable skies, welcoming people and ancient terrain was one of the most exciting adventures of my life. The journey was connected with my research and was important for my studies, but it was also inspiring for my writing and my life. Alberta is considered the West, a place of farming, ranching and oil extraction. I was there for Canada Day on 1st July and attended the Stampede, a fortnight event celebrating cowboy culture and Indigenous heritage. I was invited to poetry readings where I read my poems at open mics and attended literary events and performances. I also subscribed to a gym to carry on with my anti-diabetes exercising program. It was all so interesting that I wish to write about what I understood of this unique country with its versatile culture and multi-ethnic population. I must say I felt at home and the time I spent there was entirely worthwhile.

As soon as I came back to the UK, I had family coming from Italy for my son’s graduation. It was fantastic having my sons, daughter, daughter in law and my parents in law with us for such a happy occasion. I frantically tidied the house up and cleaned before they arrived, then cooked and baked a lot. I made lasagne, cheesecake, tiramisu, home made ice creams, cooked various vegetables and soups, and we tasted the products I had brought from Canada as well. I must say the dishwasher was vital. At the end I was exhausted but overjoyed about the good time we had all together, the long chats, a few outings, the sense of being a family though we live far away from one another.

In the second half of August I went to Rome to spend three weeks with my mum. Her carer, a Moldovan lady, had to go back to her country to see her family and to apply for a new passport. Rome was hot, the air humid and sticky. I spent most of the time at home with a fan blowing twenty inches from my face. The summer clothes I had brought from the UK, mainly cotton skirts and T-shirts, felt heavy and got soaked of sweat in half an hour. I bought thin baggy dresses at market stalls made in India or Bangladesh and had showers twice a day. We did not plan many outings as my mum is 89 now and gets tired very easily but we spent a lot of time together. I could see a few exhibitions and wrote some reviews. I also worked on my thesis intensely and on an article on cannibalism in The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood for a university magazine. To have a bit of fun and some sort of holiday time, I also subscribed to an open swimming pool near my mother’s house at Club Lanciani. It looked like a holiday resort with red umbrellas, blue deck chairs and plenty of sunshine. It was a terrific treat in my super busy summer. I produced a lot of writing, some poetry embroidery, alternating work with bits and pieces of relaxing moments as well as sightseeing. A good balance that recharged my energies and got me ahead in my work at the same time.

1 comment:

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